Why do I seem to lack the characteristics of an ED despite having the diagnosis? Do I have atypical ED?
Last Updated: 08/01/2016 at 12:40pm
Deane Rain Marie, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I take a holistic approach in working with eating disorders, mood disorders, relationships, and the LGBTQ community. I use EMDR, Dreamwork, Stories, CBT and Cinema therapy.
Top Rated Answers
you might think it's normal because you haven't noticed. but if they say you have a ed then you do. you have to find out why they this so and make a change then you well notice
Everyone is different, and everyone experiences challenges in different ways. You don't always have to match all the "criteria" to be diagnosed, as everyone is different.
A couple common misconceptions about having an ED are that one appears emaciated, or, in women, she's lost her period. The truth is that EDs exist on a spectrum and some people don't present all the symptoms, which is why ED-not otherwise specified (ED-NOS) exists in the DSM. As for why you say you seem to lack the characteristics despite having the diagnosis, that would require more information, or maybe you asking the person who diagnosed you in the first place. We can't diagnose here, sorry!
Eating disorders are different for everyone. There is no "single course" that an eating disorder takes. Though books will give a list of eating disorder signs, it may be completely different for you. We are all unique and we each have unique problems. A diagnosis is a list of characteristics that are common, but this is all it is- a list. Having a diagnosis of eating disorder- whether it be BED, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, EDNOS, etc.- is mainly a way for doctors and others to think of good ways to help. A diagnosis is only a word or words. They don't define you. Many people with eating disorders fall into the trap of thinking they aren't sick if they don't do everything that their diagnosis says will happen. This can be an incredibly dangerous mindset and can hinder recovery from eating disorders. I encourage anyone facing the challenge of an eating disorder to not let their diagnosis define them. However you struggle is okay. You are not strange, different, odd, or atypical if you don't exactly fit a diagnosis. That goes for any diagnosis- not just eating disorders. Good luck to all working on overcoming their struggles. There is hope!
You may have EDNOS. It has the characteristics of Bulimia and Anorexia, for example, eating very little, but still purging, and then bingeing but not purging.
There is no definite characteristics when you are diagnose. You might have different characteristics then others based on character and coping methods.. To know more about your diagnosis please see a good doctor and ask him/her to walk you through it.
Anorexia and Bulimia are a specific diagnosis. If you don't get diagnosed with either of those then you most likely are diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating disorder not otherwise specified). Individuals with EDNOS usually fall into one of three groups: sub-threshold symptoms of anorexia or bulimia, mixed features of both disorders, or extremely atypical eating behaviors that are not characterized by either of the established disorders.
Maybe but since this is regarding a medical diagnosis , why don't you check with your treating physician or psychiatrist ? There is no need to compare yourself though... whatever your symptoms are, even if they don't fall neatly within the criteria, you are still just as sick and just as in need of medical treatment and support. From my experience, I know that sometimes ED sufferers feel as though they are not as sick as the others. There is no such thing! Everybody is different . And I'm sure your treatment plan will cater to your individual needs.
Sometimes people with an ED might not see the symptoms themselves, or see the symptoms other see. If you have been diagnosed by a professional, they probably have found something that leads them to believe that you have an ED. There are multiple types of ED's though, and it's possible you have one of those.
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